“I realize that I will never fully understand the millions of bizarre ways that music brings people together.” – Rob Sheffield
I remember driving from Winnipeg to Yorkton, SK. A 500km (300m) and approx 8 hour drive. I can only vividly remember doing the trip twice but the journey there & back felt like we could’ve been travelling 20 times over. The one trip I remember the most was when my dad and I went by ourselves (it is his side of the family after all). My mum had a busy summer working at her beauty salon (Tiara Coiffures, with its yellow swirled glass & giant bamboo/wickery chairs to fake wood paneling, her shop was untouched from the 70s till the day she sold it when I was in high school). You could only really make the trip (or so my parents would say), during the summer as the winter drive would have been dangerous. For whatever reason going in the fall or spring was never a logical option either. Since it would be just me and my father on the grand open road for 8 hours (but back then it might as well have been days long the way that time easily slipped through my mind), I had prepared myself with adventuring provisions. In my wee plastic suitcase: Archie and Betty & Veronica comics (Jughead ones too!), Mad Libs, game boy & games (Dr. Mario was my life, also this Kid Icarus game that I never could finish), undoubtedly some little treat my mom would’ve snuck in outside of our healthy road tripping snacks, and my Fisher Price portable tape player.
Photography by purpleplaid
See my dad’s car up until I was about in middle school, was this silver 1970s Cadillac Seville, with fake wood door paneling & mini ashtrays to boot. I remember playing w/ those for hours & hours whenever in that car, pretending I had little magic men tucked away or most probably imagining that it was some sort of place where tiny mythical creatures would go to die. I also kept my stash of gum wrappers in there to which my dad never caught on. Also, I had no clue what an ashtray was at that point. I’m sure I had asked my dad what they were for & I’m certain that the answer was either shadowing me from the truth or not a full disclosure of what exactly an ashtray was. Obvs he didn’t want the idea of smoking planted anywhere near my brain. But this car, this long, squared, silver Cadillac, only had an 8-track player (yup it was that old!) which meant audio entertainment courtesty of only the very cool looking old school radio (with tuning knobs & all) or my brown Fisher Price portable cassette player. At this point, and I can’t even say how old I was (maybe 7ish?) but my musical tastes were directly influenced by what my parents played, or what cassettes my mom would buy for me. I got really big into Disney soundtracks (Lion King, Little Mermaid, Sister Act). This was all before I got Dookie, that tape was my ah ha! moment of wow! there’s a world of sounds out there and I’m meant to explore them! So there I was with my innocent assortment of tapes, oh right my mom loooved Bette Midler so we had some Beaches soundtrack in there too. Then there was George Harrison’s “Got My Mind Set On You” tape that my neighbour had made me.
The song was looped on both sides of the tape. Oh how I adored that song! Over & over & over I played it! No clue who George Harrison or The Beatles were at that time, just knew I LOVED that song! But THE cassette tape for this road trip, and to this day holds up (in my humble opinion) was this Golden Oldies mix that my dad had bought some point at a gas station. This was the music that bonded me and my dad. It was his music that he had loved as a teenager (my dad’s older, age of most twenty-something’s grandparents). Growing up I had a great musical exposure of 20s/30s/40s/50s music, classical, jazz, and blues. I was never exposed to music post 50s from my parents. So this tape (listed below), is THE epitome of a road trip mixtape. I have to thank Tsuru for suggesting us to write something for “Old School Week” because it got me to bring that tape out. It’s inspired me to grab those tracks digitally, burn a CD, fill the gas tank up full on the Focus and get out on the open road.
Photography by purpleplaid
“Every mix tape tells a story. Put them together, and they add up to the story of life.” – Rob Sheffield
What is great about this tape is that these are catchy, good ol’ fashioned pop songs. The origins of pop music (modern pop music has never pulled me in quite the same way as these). My dad and I would sing along to “Yakety Yak” or “Get A Job” and just let the road and time pass us by. I must have flipped that cassette over 50 times the whole trip, me & my dad never getting sick of it. Sometimes it would be our full focus of entertainment and other times played in the background as we’d play Mad Libs or I would read my Archie’s as he listened to the CBC. My father, who I’m sure has that adventurer spirit in him, would often try to take a route more complicated than the chosen, logical one (I being the map reader & navigator remember this distinctively). We had an end goal destination but my father was willing to let the road take us to random places. Having an affinity for pie and always the gourmet, my dad would often stop in at a local ma’ & pop diner whose signage would crown themselves as having the ‘best pie’. (That reminds me of a time during a family vacation to Florida, that my dad had to try every key lime pie that he could in hopes of finding an authentic recipe. I suppose looking back on it now, it must have been a childhood memory of an exotic treat that he was trying to satisfy). Back on the road, I’d have that brown box grinding out those sugary tunes while my dad would tell me stories, about what I don’t know as I was probably half listening & in my own little dream world that I often drifted to. I’m sure as I grow older the details of these memories will fade even more. This mixtape, the Dorice stamp of approval BEST road trip mix, will always help to keep those happy memories alive in my heart.
Photograph by purpleplaid
“And that’s the wonderful thing about family travel: it provides you with experiences that will remain locked forever in the scar tissue of your mind.” – Dave Barry
Top 40 Hits Golden Oldies Collection: Crusin Classics Volume 6
Runaround Sue – Dion by purpleplaid
Do You Want to Dance – Bobby Freeman by purpleplaid
Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On – Jerry Lee Lewis by purpleplaid
Yakety Yak – The Coasters by purpleplaid
Oh, What a Night – The Dells by purpleplaid
Till the next time my lovelies,